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Indianapolis Zoo responds after activist calls for elephants to be released to sanctuary

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jun 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-02 12:02:10-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo is responding to concerns from animal activists after the zoo announced a fourth elephant tested positive for a deadly virus.

After journalist and animal activist, Yashar Ali, responded to a story RTV6 posted Friday, the Indianapolis Zoo says the best place for the elephants is at the zoo.

On Friday, the Indianapolis Zoo announced a fourth elephant, Zahara, tested positive for the deadly virus EEHV. Yashar Ali said "the remaining elephants should be sent to a sanctuary ASAP."

PREVIOUS | Fourth elephant at Indianapolis zoo tests positive for deadly virus

You can view Yashar Ali's thread of tweets below:

Their remaining elephants should be sent to a sanctuary ASAP.

And most important, anyone who loves animals should boycott the zoo.

Enough. https://t.co/VgLdmFJCe1

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 1, 2019

"There is no better place than the Indianapolis Zoo for the elephant herd when it comes to the quality of care and expertise that we provide," Judy Palermo, senior manager of public relations at the zoo said. "It’s important to note that EEHV occurs in all settings for elephants, it has nothing to do with living in a zoo."

Experts from the National Elephant Herpesvirus Laboratory at the Smithsonian National Zoo are collaborating with the zoo, Palermo said. A veterinarian from the zoo recently attended a national conference on the deadly virus to "share our experiences and gain valuable insights about this deadly virus."

The Indianapolis Zoo says it can be challenging for scientists to find a way to stop the virus because there are multiple strains.

"Scientists are working on a vaccine and our hope is that they will be successful," Palermo said.